A Mother’s Day Simple Soirée

by in Entertaining, Holidays, May 11th, 2012

blueberry raspberry muffins
It goes without saying that Mother’s Day is always a fun day in our house. Instead of giving her gifts every year, I like to cook up a big delicious brunch so we can all lay around the house, eat great food and relax. It’s something we do quite well.

My mom is also quite the picky eater, so I have to tailor my menu to fit her palate. One thing that I can never go wrong with is any kind of baked goods. We have a sweet tooth in my family and these Blueberry Muffins that I’ve adapted from Alton Brown are always a hit.

I brightened them up with lemon zest and raspberries, and then whipped up the most addictive Chantilly Cream. Heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and a vanilla bean is a match made in heaven.

These blueberry-raspberry muffins topped with Chantilly Cream are the perfect way to show your mom some love this Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there, and thanks to my mom for being so amazing.

Get the recipe for Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

Kale Salad With Marcona Almonds — The Weekender

by in Recipes, May 11th, 2012

kale salad with marcona almonds
Though kale is something of a hot new food trend, I happen to be one of those lucky souls who has been eating it for years. My parents are avid vegetable gardeners and both kale and its buddy Swiss chard were always prominent players in the spring and fall plantings.

To us, kale was simply a sturdy cooking green, best for use in soups or wilted with olive oil and garlic. On weekend mornings, I’d sauté ribbons of kale with zucchini and green onions and scramble a couple beaten eggs around the veggies. Topped with fresh tomato, it’s still my favorite breakfast.

The one thing we didn’t do back in those days was eat raw kale. It wasn’t that anyone was against it, it just didn’t occur to either my parents or me (and though my sister is one of the biggest kale eaters around now, she wouldn’t touch it in any form back then). It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I started seeing mentions of raw kale salads in magazines and on blogs, that I tried it.

These days, I’m something of a kale salad evangelist. I have two versions that are in my regular dinner rotation. The first is a garlicky version inspired by a recipe posted to 101 Cookbooks and the other is a Grated Carrot and Kale Salad, dressed with walnut oil and rice wine vinegar.

Before you start chopping kale, read these tips

On the Blogs: Ted Allen, Julia Child and Girl Scout Candy Bars

by in Community, May 10th, 2012

ted allenFood Republic: Congratulations to Ted Allen for winning his second James Beard Award last weekend. The Chopped host talks about his inspiration from competition judges and reveals his favorite food pairings.

Washington Post: Nearing Julia Child’s 100th birthday, we remember how the beloved French Chef revolutionized home cooking, especially for women.

 

Travel + Leisure: Have a passion for burgers? See if your town made the cut for America’s Best Burger Cities 2012.

Slate: We all know kale is good for you, but how about an all-kale diet?

The Daily Meal: Girl Scout candy bars are real. Flavors include Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut and Peanut Butter Créme.

Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets of the Past 10 Years, $10 or Less

by in Shows, May 10th, 2012

invention hunters

by Steve Greenberg (pictured right)

As an Invention Hunter (aka product scout), I’m always searching for the next great kitchen gadget. For the purpose of this blog, let’s define “gadgets” as those inexpensive must-have tools that fit in your kitchen drawers. Here are my picks for the top five kitchen gadgets under $10:

Norpro Egg Rite Timer ($5) — Throw out your grandmother’s egg timer: This high-tech egg timer, isn’t really a timer at all. Shaped like an egg, you place it in the pan with your eggs and it calculates cooking stages by temperature, not by inaccurate time. It automatically adjusts for the number of eggs, amount of water and even the altitude. Egg-cellent, huh?

Mastrad Silicone Steam Cooker ($10) — Forget the old iron or aluminum steam cookers of yesteryear, silicone is today’s go-to kitchen material. This steam cooker is super convenient because you don’t have to use water or add oil to cook your food. All you have to do is stick it in the microwave for a few minutes and you get a quick, healthy meal.

Get the top three kitchen gadgets

15 Healthiest Grilled Main Dishes

by in Uncategorized, May 10th, 2012
grilled salmon

Food Network Kitchens' Honey Soy Grilled Salmon With Edamame

If you’ve been grilling the same recipes each season, it’s time to shake things up. We’re giving you plenty of deliciously healthy main dish recipes to choose from—meat, chicken...

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Restaurant Revisited: Pappas

by in Shows, May 9th, 2012

Pappas Restaurant

Robert’s latest mission brought him to Pappas, a family-owned Greek restaurant in Benicia, Calif. Feuding brothers, a drab interior and lackluster food were leading this business toward extinction. We checked in with the owners to see how things are going a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover.

Pappas Restaurant has seen an increase in sales of more than 50 percent versus the same time last year. The added revenue is helping Michael, aka Pappa, pay off his tax debts: “I see a great future ahead,” he says.

Pappas is seeing an increase in new customers and some old customers from the early days are finding their way back to the restaurant. They love the blue and white decor and are curious to try the new and improved Greek-inspired menu.

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How to Use Salt in Sweets

by in How-to, May 9th, 2012

salt
Savoring dessert carries a double meaning in my book. To fully enjoy most sweets, whether they are chocolate, fruit or candy-based, a little salt goes a long way to make the flavors pop. As the pastry chef at Miami’s top restaurant, I’m always trying to nudge guests a little bit outside their comfort zone. Sometimes the easiest way to do it is by baking some kosher salt into raw sugar-dusted sesame shortbread for a supportive boost you wouldn’t even know unless I told you. Or, better yet, go a little more obvious with a sprinkle of light and flaky Maldon sea salt on top of creamy, frozen truffle-like Milk Chocolate Cremoso. I love the raised eyebrows it provokes upon hitting the table — of course shortly followed by the, “Oh, I see, this completely makes sense,” look.

Just think about it. While it’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dessert, it’s actually not that far-fetched of an idea. We’ve been baking salt into our desserts since we were kids. (Remember the Nestlé Toll House cookies package?) When baking at home, think outside the salt shaker. Try to pay attention to the types of salt you are using as there’s likely a perfect variety for each application in both the savory and the sweet kitchen.

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Daytime Emmy Nominations Are Out: Congrats to Giada, Bobby, Guy, Jeff, Sandra, Paula and More

by in Events, News, May 9th, 2012

2012 food network emmy nominations
Today, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, and Food Network has multiple reasons to celebrate — make that 12 reasons.

Four of our very own shows are nominated for Outstanding Culinary Program: Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Giada at Home, Guy’s Big Bite and Sandwich King.

Food Network is also nominated for the following awards:

Outstanding Lifestyle/ Culinary Host: Giada De Laurentiis for Giada at Home, Paula Deen for Paula’s Best Dishes and Sandra Lee for Semi-Homemade Cooking.

Outstanding Special Class Special: Thanksgiving Live!

Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/ Culinary Program: Giada at Home

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